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Revision as of 02:47, 28 November 2010 by Kepstin (talk | contribs) (Transliteration Guide)

Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.

Proposal number: RFC-288
Champion: foolip
Current status: In development

Status: This is an official style guideline.

Note that these guidelines specifically apply to Japanese language releases. For western releases which have been released in Japan, please use the capitalization guidelines for the original language.

Japanese Language, Japanese Script (Kanji/Kana)

The Japanese script doesn't have any inherent capitalization. For releases originating in Japan, characters should be used as-is; with Kanji, Hiragana, or Katakana characters as used in the original titles.

Although the Japanese script has no capitalization, it is very common for Japanese titles to contain words in other scripts. Japanese artists have a tendency to choose capitalization and punctuation for aesthetic reasons; and to be very consistant regarding case over all releases. For this reason, words in the Latin script on a Japanese release should be in the same case as on the album art (or other available sources, such as official discography or record label pages), and not be normalized.

Japanese Language, Latin Script (Transliteration)

Transliteration Guide

The recommended romanization method to use on Musicbrainz is a modified version of Revised Hepburn. Particular details of this style include:

  • When , , or are used as particles, they should be rendered as e, wa, and o respectively.
  • Syllabic is always written as n. In ambiguous cases, an apostrophe is used: “…んあ” is “…n’a”
  • Long vowels should be spelled out using the kana spelling: aa, ii, uu, ei, ee, ou, oo as appropriate.
    • Except for certain well-known words, particularly proper names. For example, Tokyo; Osaka.
  • A Sokuon (Small Tsu, ) should be indicated by doubling the following consonant: っし is sshi, っち is cchi, っつ is ttsu.
  • じょ and じゅ are jo and ju respectively.
  • If a small vowel ぁぃぅぇぉ is used alone, it should be treated the same as one of あいうえお: あぁ 恋しくて would be Aa Koishikute.
  • A at the end of a word or sentence should be ignored.

Occasionally, a Japanese title will contains foreign words transliterated into Katakana. If the original language can be determined, it is preferred to use the original text rather than transliterating the Katakana directly. Keep in mind that the original text may not be English! An example is プラチナ, which comes from the spanish Platina.

This does not appy in all cases. Some former loan-words are used more-or-less as native words (Gairaigo or Wasei-eigo), which are usually written in Katakana but do not correspond directly with the original words. Examples include パン - from Portugese pão (bread), スーパー - Super(market), etc. Many, but not all, of the terms on List of gairaigo and wasei-eigo terms qualify. These should be transliterated in the same way as native Japanese words, except that a hyphen - may be used instead of doubling vowels.

Some additional notes about transliterations:

  • Word splitting in Japanese transliterations is not an exact science, particularly in the cases of compound words or verbs with auxiliary helpers. Particles should usually be seperate words.
  • Honourifics should be attached to a preceeding name with a dash, and be written in lowercase: Sakura-chan, Yamada-san.

Capitalization Guide

The capitalization style used on transliterated (romanized) Japanese releases is designed to resemble the title-casing style used for English releases. In particular:

  • Every word should have the first letter capitalized, except:
    • Particles (1-2 mora long): wa, ga, o, ni, de, e, to, mo, ka, ya, kara, made, yo, ne, etc. Particles on Wikipedia
    • Any words written using Latin characters in the original title should maintain the same capitalization as originally used.
    • In certain cases, Japanese words may be written in Katakana for emphasis. A common way to indicate this in transliterations is to use ALL CAPS. This use is generally discouraged, but is tolerated for consistency with external sources.